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The Myth of Normal

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the myth of normal. So in your own life, do you feel a pressure to fit in and be normal? If so, think about how that shows up in your life. Maybe you don't want to have kids for instance, but you feel the weight of expectation that you should have a family. Or maybe you really want to have children, but you fear judgment from others if you leave your career to be a mom or a stay at home dad, maybe you don't really want to work so hard.

You'd rather live in a, in a country town living a simple, slow life, but you grew up in a family of high achievers who expect you to do big things and work long hours in the city. Whatever your own version of trying to be normal is, you know, what lays behind that for all of us is this basic pressure to fit in so that we can get the approval and acceptance of others, no matter who those others are. At its root, this urge towards conformity is closely tied to a fear of rejection. We all experienced this pool to fit in. And the reason we feel that pull to be normal is just because of the way our minds evolved.

So in the space of human evolution, 200,000 years or so, when our ancestors were living in small bands, their survival depended on staying in the pack. If you didn't have the other members of the packs approval and you got rejected, it really meant certain death. Humans just did not survive well alone in the wild. This is why rejection feels so painful and scary to us. It's wired into the human mind that rejection equals death.

So a part of being accepted and staying safe was our ability to fit in and be liked by the other members of the tribe. So our ancestors would be vigilant to what was normal in the tribe or the community, and try to fit in with that to get approval. Being different was dangerous. So the problem with this old conditioning in the human mind is that this pressure to conform all the time means that we can sometimes deny our own true feelings and needs, our own desires instead of listening to them. It means we might do something, even if it doesn't feel right to us.

Sometimes we might make decisions or take actions with little other reason than the fact that everybody else is doing it. So this can lead to all kinds of unwise and unhappy scenarios. But perhaps the most unhappy of all is simply us not living the life that's true to us. So part of the invitation of mindful living is to simply cultivate more authenticity. Mindfulness helps us to act from our own integrity and authenticity, even when it's really challenging to do so, even when we're feeling that pressure to conform.

So this is my invitation for you today, is just to let go a little bit of that need to fit in and be liked and focus on showing up as your true self. Instead of trying to be normal, just being natural. And perhaps it can simply begin by asking yourself a simple question. What's really right for me? And just let this question keep guiding you towards sharing the real you with the world. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And let's settle in now for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

The Myth of Normal

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about the myth of normal. So in your own life, do you feel a pressure to fit in and be normal? If so, think about how that shows up in your life. Maybe you don't want to have kids for instance, but you feel the weight of expectation that you should have a family. Or maybe you really want to have children, but you fear judgment from others if you leave your career to be a mom or a stay at home dad, maybe you don't really want to work so hard.

You'd rather live in a, in a country town living a simple, slow life, but you grew up in a family of high achievers who expect you to do big things and work long hours in the city. Whatever your own version of trying to be normal is, you know, what lays behind that for all of us is this basic pressure to fit in so that we can get the approval and acceptance of others, no matter who those others are. At its root, this urge towards conformity is closely tied to a fear of rejection. We all experienced this pool to fit in. And the reason we feel that pull to be normal is just because of the way our minds evolved.

So in the space of human evolution, 200,000 years or so, when our ancestors were living in small bands, their survival depended on staying in the pack. If you didn't have the other members of the packs approval and you got rejected, it really meant certain death. Humans just did not survive well alone in the wild. This is why rejection feels so painful and scary to us. It's wired into the human mind that rejection equals death.

So a part of being accepted and staying safe was our ability to fit in and be liked by the other members of the tribe. So our ancestors would be vigilant to what was normal in the tribe or the community, and try to fit in with that to get approval. Being different was dangerous. So the problem with this old conditioning in the human mind is that this pressure to conform all the time means that we can sometimes deny our own true feelings and needs, our own desires instead of listening to them. It means we might do something, even if it doesn't feel right to us.

Sometimes we might make decisions or take actions with little other reason than the fact that everybody else is doing it. So this can lead to all kinds of unwise and unhappy scenarios. But perhaps the most unhappy of all is simply us not living the life that's true to us. So part of the invitation of mindful living is to simply cultivate more authenticity. Mindfulness helps us to act from our own integrity and authenticity, even when it's really challenging to do so, even when we're feeling that pressure to conform.

So this is my invitation for you today, is just to let go a little bit of that need to fit in and be liked and focus on showing up as your true self. Instead of trying to be normal, just being natural. And perhaps it can simply begin by asking yourself a simple question. What's really right for me? And just let this question keep guiding you towards sharing the real you with the world. So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

And let's settle in now for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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